With the encouragement of his wife Moe, Barrie Reid created the Earthquest Outdoor School Program in the fall of 1981. Earthquest was established as a five month, youth oriented immersion Program offered to grade 11 students from School District 22 in beautiful Vernon, British Columbia Canada. Both Barrie and Moe believed that relevant and meaningful learning takes place in the best possible classroom; the outdoors.
Students in the Earthquest Program were selected to participate based on their efforts and commitment to academics, leadership, athletics, attendance and responsibility during their junior high school years.
In turn, these students were rewarded with an opportunity to experience their schooling in a different format, in diverse environments and under a unique pedagogical philosophy. Students in the Program received academic credit for English, Earth Science, Fine Arts, Physical Education and Leadership; all of which Barrie and Moe are educated and highly credentialed. These courses were taught harmoniously with the natural resources of the environment, allowing students to engage in rewarding relationships with nature, others and themselves.
From the beginning, an environmental consciousness, self awareness and consideration for others was established through the weaving of outdoor adventures with the technologies, philosophies, stewardship and lifestyle of the First Nations People of British Columbia. Barrie and Moe, and consequently, the students, benefitted through the trust, care and understanding relationships that the Earthquest Program has developed with the First Nations People for the past thirty years.
Over the past 35 years, or over 65 school semesters, the Earthquest Program has graduated over 3,000 young adults. While many factors contribute to an individuals success, many students both young and matured have contacted Barrie ad Moe to highlight the Earthquest Program as an important factor in their present lives and livelihoods. Earthquest has been incredibly fortunate in having continued parental, school district and community support. These relationships have been instrumental in the success of the Program and have long been responsible for the Programs impressive longevity.
Presently, the Earthquest Program is working in close partnership with School District 22 to enable a similar Program that will allow both Barrie and Moe to continue positively influencing young adults and mentor past students joining us on expeditions who are becoming guides in the outdoor field. Additionally, new relationships with universities and private institutions are being formed, enabling the Program to continue offering unparalleled experiences to students locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.
Thank you to everyone who has helped to make, and will continue to support the Earthquest Program.